News / Middle East

Egyptian Satirist Faces New Legal Action From Army-Backed Government

Egyptians watch the first episode of a show by Egypt's most prominent television satirist, Bassem Youssef, called
Egyptians watch the first episode of a show by Egypt's most prominent television satirist, Bassem Youssef, called "Al-Bernameg" (The Programme) in Cairo, Oct. 25, 2013.
Reuters
A comedian who outraged Egypt's now deposed Islamist rulers with his satirical TV show is to be investigated by the current army-backed government, a state-run newspaper reported on Monday.
 
Bassem Youssef, often called Egypt's answer to U.S. satirist Jon Stewart, returned to the airwaves on Friday for the first time since the army ousted Mohamed Morsi, the Islamist president he used to lampoon in jokes and song-and-dance routines.
 
Youssef turned his comic jibes on the new government, joking about the popularity of army chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and implying that no one had heard of interim President Adly Mansour.
 
The program was enough for public prosecutor Hisham Barakat to launch an investigation, after a viewer complained that it had harmed the public interest and risked creating chaos in the country, Al-Ahram newspaper reported.
 
Youssef, who was arrested under Morsi's government and appeared in court on charges - later dropped - of insulting the president and Islam, carefully poked fun at various political camps in Friday's broadcast, but stopped short of an outright assault on Sisi, whose image adorns posters across Cairo.
 
His arrest under Morsi was criticized by liberals who said the 2011 uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak was going back toward autocratic rule.
 
With a new military-backed government in place, activists say similar assaults on press freedom and on other civil liberties like the right to protest, seem all too likely.
 
“I am not with the [Islamists], who attacked us and called us heretics ... and publicly called for our imprisonment,” Youssef said on his Friday show.
 
“At the same time, I am not with hypocrisy, deification of individuals and creation of pharaohs,” Youssef said. “We are afraid that fascism in the name of religion gets replaced with fascism in the name of nationalism.”
 
Morsi's ouster on July 3 was followed by the worst violence in Egypt's modern history, including the violent clearing of Muslim Brotherhood protest camps in which hundreds of the group's supporters were killed.
 
Thousands more, including the movement's leadership, have been arrested.

You May Like

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor warns of obesity’s worldwide health impact More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam Wari
X
Katherine Gypson
May 25, 2015 1:32 AM
For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.

VOA Blogs